The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 288 

who was alone in Jerusalem on that same day.
And he certainly made
the hearts of his disciples burn as he spoke.

Chapter XXXII

62 He taught that in books the testimony of the Lord, not value, should be sought, and edification rather than elegance. Nevertheless, he wanted few books kept, and these were to be available to the brothers who needed them. And so, when a Minister asked him for permission to keep some elegant and very expensive books, he got this reply: "I refuse to lose the Book of the Gospel that I promised for these books of yours! Do as you please, but don't use my permission for a trap."


Chapter XXXIII

63 Finally, beds and coverings abounded in such plentiful poverty that, if a brother had a ragged sheet over some straw he considered it a bridal couch.

It happened that the Lord of Ostia, with a great crowd of clerics and knights, came to visit the brothers at the time they were holding a chapter at Saint Mary of the Portiuncula. When he saw how the brothers lay on the ground, and had a good look at their beds, which you might think were animals' dens, he began to weep loudly, and said in front of everyone: "Look where the brothers sleep! What will become of us, Mt 19:27 who are wasteful with our surplus?" And all those present were moved to tears, and left the place greatly edified.

This was that man of Ostia
who eventually became the great door of the Church,
a door which always held hostile powers at bay
until his blessed soul returned to heaven as a sacred offering.a
Oh, holy soul and heart of charity!



Vita Secunda Sancti Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 499-501

qui solus erat in Jerusalem eodem die,
facti series probat.
13Cor nihilominus ardens in discipulis,
dum loqueretur, effecit.

Contra curiositatem librorum.

62 1In libris testimonium Domini a quaerere, non pretium, aedificationem non pulchritudinem edocebat. 2Paucos tamen haberi volebat, eosdemque ad fratrum egentium necessitatem paratos. 3Unde cum quidam minister libros ambitiosos multumque valentes eius licentia retinendos expeteret, audivit ab ipso: « Librum Evangelii quod promisi, pro tuis libris perdere nolo. 4Tu quidem quod volueris facies b; mea non fiet licentia laqueus ».

De paupertate lectorum.

Exemplum domini Ostiensis, et laus eius.

63 1In stratis et lectis ita demum abundabat copiosa paupertas, ut qui super paleas panniculos semisanos haberet, pro thalamo reputaret.

2Unde accidit tempore quo fiebat capitulum ad sanctam Mariam de Portiuncula, quod dominus Ostiensis cum turba militum et clericorum illuc ad visitandos fratres perrexit. 3Qui videns quomodo fratres iacerent in terra et lectos considerans, quos ferarum cubilia crederes, durissime illacrimans, coram omnibus dixit: « Ecce hic dormiunt fratres ». 4Et adiecit: « De nobis vero miseris quid erit, qui tanta superfluitate abutimur? ». 5Omnes qui aderant ad lacrimas usque compuncti plurimum aedificati discedunt.

6Hic Ostiensis ille fuit qui tandem,
ostium maximum in Ecclesia factus hostibus semper obstitit,
donec hostiam sacram,
animam illam beatam, caelo refudit.
7O pium pectus, o viscera caritatis!

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 288